Art-pop force Austen has released her second EP, a four-track release aptly titled Small. Off the back of her acclaimed single, The Fire, a left-field slice of pop that drew comparisons to Disclosure and Little Dragon (Declan Byrne, triple j)the EP solidifies Austen’s range as a songwriter, as Small takes the listener on a journey through more moods in four tracks than many would expect from a full length album.

Lead single ‘How To Be Alone’ is an 80s-tinged, dark synth-pop banger that tugs at your heartstrings and your dancing shoes in equal measure. It carries raw and personal lyrics that perfectly echo the feelings of the whole world during the past 18 months, despite being written pre-lockdown. In her own words, “’How To be Alone’ is dedicated to the person who told me ‘you need to learn how to be alone’ a month before a global pandemic hit.

After 200 days locked down, I’m getting better, but I’m still learning.” The single was co-written and co-produced by Sam Phay and mixed by Jono Ma (Flight Facilities, Channel Tres), with Austen tapping Ma for mixing duties on the whole EP. Described as a “rising pop star” (Purple Sneakers), the young songwriter-producer shows that she is an artist unafraid to dance outside the boundaries of pop.

Small infuses 60s nostalgia, house, electronica, and psychedelic synths into the ethereal alt-pop sound that fans know and love her for, with the track ‘In The Lake’ feeling like the peak of a trip in nature. Austen’s debut EP ‘Passenger Seat’ garnered radio rotation and sold out shows in its wake. Her striking live show has seen her tour with the likes of AURORA and Col3trane and perform at festivals like Big Pineapple and Splendour in the Grass, among others. After Small, could there be a Medium or a Large on the way?

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